Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Where Is My Mind?

"With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself Where is my mind?"

I've misplaced my mind. I can't seem to find it. I've looked everywhere. I'm starting to get worried. My husband, The Surge, told me to be patient, that it will turn up soon. That was weeks ago, and so far, nothing.

I thought it might be at my job, writing the news, but it's not. I went to work a few times last week with the steadfast intention of finding it. I figured the chaos of being newly married and working through that "difficult first year" was rendering me unable to focus at home, which was inhibiting me from locating my mind. I thought swapping my cramped railroad apartment for the air conditioned tomb of the Upper West Side highrise may afford me the peace I need to help me find my mind. I thought maybe the organized but excited lets-get-it-done attitude of professional journalists might rub off, help me get motivated to conduct a proper search. But my mind didn't turn up.

The Surge and I stopped at his mom's house on our cross-country trip from behind The Zion Curtain to the city that never sleeps. Maybe I left it there. I thought a week of vacation in the Pennsylvania Amish country, which is where The Surge's mom lives, would give me the clarity I need to find my mind. If I did in fact, misplace it in the valley where trees jostle for space next to roads clogged with horse drawn buggies crammed with Amish. But I looked everywhere, and it just wasn't anywhere. Granted, my mass consumption of hard liquor and pot brownies may have hindered the effort, but really, how far can a mind wander?

The Surge suggested I get some exercise. I figured he meant I should jog around my little Brooklyn neighborhood in search of my mind. As in the Amish country, I searched everywhere and I just couldn't find it.

I returned to The Safe Place (my bed) for another few days of thinking complicated thoughts. Well, as complex as one can think with a mind on the lam. Then one day after a rerun of 'Who's The Boss' came to a close, I had an idea. After a week of sitting on my couch without washing my hair, I decided it was weighing me down, hiding my mind's resting place. Maybe my mind couldn't find its’ way home with all this hair in the way. So I rallied enough to schlep to the corner salon for a hair trim. The pink, spikey haired hipster charged me $85.
"You didn't COLOR my hair, you just TRIMMED it." I told her, numb with shock.
"I know, that'll be 85 dollars please. Are you interested in purchasing product? We have a FANTASTIC! new leave-in conditioner, I can't live without it..." Despite splashing out for the trim, the new do did not lure my mind back to its' home.

I called my mom back in Utah and asked if she'd seen my mind. Maybe I'd left it there. It could've got lost somewhere along the many miles to New York. Maybe it got disoriented (it wouldn't be the first time) and headed back to Utah where it knows it's way around if it gets lost. But my mom hasn't seen my mind. In fact, when I asked her if she'd seen it she said "Have you lost your mind?" and I said "Yes, that's why I'm asking if you've seen it." She hung up on me.

As you can see, I'm really at a loss. Do you know what it's like to lose your mind? I don't know who I am anymore. I am not sure how to behave in social situations. I am either too manic (or drunk) and gloriously kiss everyone's ass in my gambit for love and acceptance. Or I develop a minor case of agoraphobia and refuse to leave the house. Wouldn't you be afraid to leave your house if you lost your mind?

My dog Max has a really good sense of smell, so sometimes I leave the house and brave public scrutiny (I know they're looking) to walk him in hopes that he might track down my missing mind. It seems like he's been close at times. Like, maybe he's picked up its’ scent.

When we're on the case, I feel a bit better. I walk faster, I breathe in the fragrant summer air and let the breeze blow the dust off my body. My head clears and it feels like maybe my mind is near.

I can remember what it's like when I had my mind. I know how to get up in the morning. I get out of bed and I want to! I might exercise, perhaps eat a proper meal, maybe shower and apply some make-up, throw on clothes that don't have hardened nacho cheese stains dribbling down on the front. I call friends, make plans, all the usual things a mind occupies itself with.

But then Max loses the scent, clouds converge in the sky and in my head. So we head home for another wrestle with agoraphobia, obsessively watching sitcoms about happy people who know how to keep track of their minds.

Recently it's been rather difficult without my mind. I forget to shower. I eat continuously, not remembering or caring if I just ate. And I scarf down things that, if I had my mind, I'd know are not good to consume on a regular basis. Like tubes of raw cookie dough, and lots of microwave popcorn.

Lately I've been substituting sleeping pills and liquor for the cookie dough and popcorn. If I had my mind, I would know that this is not healthy. My mind would tell me to get myself outside and exercise, eat lovely, big breakfasts and maybe a grilled chicken salad for lunch, fish and veggies for dinner. But my mind is missing. I think I already told you that. I'm not really sure what to do now.

The Surge says he can help me find my mind. He says he knows where it might be and seems very sure of himself. I am not sure at all, but perhaps this is because I’ve misplaced my mind. The Surge tells me he knows this woman whose job is to help people find their minds. Interesting. We're going to visit her tomorrow. He says all I have to do is sit down and tell her the last place I remember having my mind, whether it's done this sort of thing before. Of course we'll have to pay her to find it, these people don't work for free.. Does anyone? But at this point I'll try anything.

Ooooooh - stop!
With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself
Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Way out in the water
See it swimmin'
I was swimmin' in the Carribean
Animals were hiding behind the rock
Except the little fish
But they told me, he swears
Tryin' to talk to me to me to me
Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Way out in the water
See it swimmin'?
With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
If there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself
Where is my mind?

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Reader Comments (2)

YES YES YES! I am one of those mind losers. Yes I am! I can admit it! I've been looking for my mind for I don't know how long. I still haven't found it.

At one point I felt that I got it back. The short weekend I spent in Yonkers. The few hours I was in Philly. I thought it returned. Of course then I realized it just was the alcohol.

I feel you Monica. I do! I'd say maybe we could help one another find our mind's. But that would just deter us from finding our own mind. And well while it's great to have help to find your mind, it is sometimes best to find it on your own again.

I just wish I could find interest in something. Maybe that would help. I don't remember what I like. I guess that's what happens when you lose your mind, I don't know? I hope you find yours soon, as well as me. Because my head feels empty up there.
December 13, 2005 | Registered CommenterFiabug
I felt mine go. It happened when I was fifteen (mind you, I'm eighteen) and I realized that no one was going to save me from my awful abusive parents and I was going to have to fix myself with no experience. And bad things kept happening. I kept fucking myself over. One day I realized that I wasn't enjoying the moment anymore so all of my moods that are better than drugs were gone and I couldn't have them back because I had lost my mind. I started crying every day for hours, and I tried pot but it only enhanced my dead feelings, nothing old and pure came back. Now I've dried up inside, tears don't come too often. I found a semi-replacement because I don't fuck myself over, but I'm not happy. I remember it was a very peaceful relaxed experience having my mind around. Maybe when I have moved out and there are less people torturing me screaming and breaking things and accusing me my mind won't be afraid and it will come back. I hope you found yours, I'm sure you wrote this a while ago. I almost feel like I am catching parts of it when I write my poems and make my artsy things. I have never had an artist friend, maybe I am lonely for someone like me and tired of pretending that I can be satisfied with people who I have nothing in common with. I need to stop hiding from the world. That is probably the solution.
May 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdesiree

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